First Round Capital is one of the most widely loved venture capital firms in tech -- no small feat for a VC firm to claim. Through their platform (VC for brand marketing and value-add projects), they've built the Harvard Business Review-of-Startups, hold 80+ events per year for their portfolio companies, and even help founders pitch them through a program called Pitch Assist. Today, host Jay Acunzo talks to First Round partner Bill Trenchard and how and why FRC bets on brand (and how that changed the VC world for good). We also hear from the founder of a growth-stage startup, Lloyd Tabb of Looker, who describes his experience with Bill and the First Round brand.
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In This Episode:
1:00 - Overview of #Exceptions
2:02 - First Round Capital
4:40 - What do entrepreneurs think of First Round Capital?
7:30 - First Round’s alignment with entrepreneurs
9:00 - First Round’s programs & network of professionals
11:30 - Good behavior under stress: living out brand values
13:20 - Today’s big idea: Thinking long-term
15:11 - “What’s in it for the customer?”
19:20 - Shared experience & empathy
23:00 - Evaluating investment opportunities through empathy
24:33 - Companies with the best customer experience
27:28 - The ugly duckling vs. the swan
28:39 - Hacks vs. the long view
32:00 - Two tactics for handling the hard times in a VC
35:00 - Bill’s hard conversation with a founder
36:00 - Key learning points from this episode